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  #1  
Old 09-11-2002, 12:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Introducing the Road Kill 380SL

I would like to introduce myself and my car.

I am a regular on the Classic forum with my 250 & 280 coupes. I recently acquired an '81 380SL (248K miles) that blew an engine on I-95 in July. I know that this is all wrong by SL standards, but it is my goal to restore it to driveable and cosmetically acceptable condition on a total budget of $2500 (inluding the purchase of the car). using only the resources of the 'net.

I had a major stroke of luck finding a 116.963 engine on e-Bay for under $300. It has cam problems, but I was able to locate a good used set within budget. Both the engine and the car were local, so I have not incurred any large shipping charges. So far, so good.

Currently the engine is out of the car, and parts transfer to the new engine is in progress as well as cam installation.

My major needs at this point are a windshield wiper motor, new rugs, and a driver's seat or cover. Interior is palomino. Any leads appreciated.

Look forward to participating in this forum as my project progresses and my knowledge of the 107's grows.
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Introducing the Road Kill 380SL-380sl-aug-09-02.jpg  
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2002, 07:47 PM
ericdee's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 497
Nice to see you in the SL forum. That's one good looking SL and I just love that color.
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Eric, 1983 500 SL

Last edited by ericdee; 09-11-2002 at 09:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2002, 04:33 PM
Mark300SL
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Cheapest SL's over here are around the $7-8000 mark !

I wish I could find an SL for 2500 with a blown engine, let alone $2500

That is one nice looking car for the money

Mark
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2002, 09:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Colorado, USA
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What year is the new engine? If it's older than '84, check to see if it's been converted to a double row timing chain. What caused the first engine to "blow"?

Blitzen
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2002, 03:58 PM
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The new engine is a 116.963 reportedly from a euro 380SEC. It does have the dual chain. The PO produced a receipt for a $4400 rebuild allegedly 10K miles ago, but it has a flat lobe on each cam. I found a used set of cams, towers and followers, which I will install.

The existing engine reportedly cracked a piston. When I got it it would run, had good OP and made a horrible "chuffing" noise and a lot of smoke. No water in the oil. #4 had 25 psi compression. The rest were on the low side, but OK.

At the present, I am transferring parts to the new engine. I just got the intake and all of its plumbing off the original - what a swine of a job. Another major task is to switch the oil pans, as the SEC's has a wide "foot" that will not fit in the SL.
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2002, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
Good score, Chuck. I would have fun with that project as
well. I second the opinion on your car's color; it looks very
fine. Take the facts about your new engine with some
doubt. I have never seen an engine at a wreckers with
much more than 100K miles on it.
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1967 250SL
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2002, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
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I hear you about the "new" engine. I have sweated the seller and his story has stayed consistent and believable. Rebuilt in '98, lightly used since. Cam problem surfaces. Gets great deal on a 500SEC (wrecked) and uses engine from that rather than fix cams. Sells 380 engine.

I have seller's name and phone number, and he has been very good about answering questions even a month after the sale.

I have debated pulling the heads, but am advised that can can create it's own set of problems.
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2002, 10:26 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
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I found out what caused the car to die on the highway. I did an autopsy on the original engine and found that the #4 intake rocker had 1/2' "scooped" out of it by the cam, and the plunger from the ball stud had popped out. Both were laying on the right head when I pulled the valve cover.

Basically, low compression because the intake was not opening so no air to compress. Smoke, because the excessive intake vacuum was sucking oil past the valve seals and rings.

This could have, in theory, been caused by a sticking valve guide or an "aggressive" ball stud/rocker. There was not a trace of O-rings left on the plunger that popped out. Picture of damaged rocker compared to normal wear is attached.

Am still proceeding with plan to install replacement engine, but will probably offer the orginal for sale, since it just needs the cam gear replaced - pistions and cylinder walls look fine.
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Introducing the Road Kill 380SL-380sl-sept-18-rockers.jpg  
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Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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